While online retail commerce continues to grow, the vast majority of retail purchases are still done in brick-and-mortar locations. Concurrently, digital marketing technologies and mobile platforms are a growing influence in consumer purchasing behavior.
Consumers, particularly millennials, increasingly use their mobile devices as part of their shopping activities, including searching for and discovering new products, evaluating style and fit, comparing prices, determining local availability, considering purchasing options, social sharing and eventual purchase.
Here are some of the trends and statistics from 2016:
78% of US marketers have increased spending on location-based mobile advertising based on the availability of foot traffic data. (Source: eMarketer)
46% of retailers say improving the mobile shopper experience is a top digital priority. (Source: Boston Retail Partners)
As of May 2016, 58% of US smartphone users visited a retailer’s website or app and 53% visited a store or other location prior to making an in-store purchase. (eMarketer: P2P Roundup)
208.3 million Americans researched and browsed for products and services on the internet in 2016, with mobile accounting for 184.4 of that million. (eMarketer: P2P Roundup)
US retail mcommerce sales increased 43.2% in 2016 to $115.92 billion. (Source: eMarketer)
Despite the increasing importance of the mobile device in both the consumer’s shopping journey and decision, shoppers still prefer making their purchases from a physical retail location.
59% of respondents cited consistency between digital channels and in-store as the most important part of the retail experience. (Source: eMarketer P2P Roundup)
Many consumers still desire a physical interaction with a product and prefer to purchase the following items in-store: (Source: PWC)
- 52% electronics
- 59% household items
- 53% clothing and footwear
- 72% groceries
- 50% health and beauty
In a UPS survey, 46% of customers who have utilized the ship-to-store option indicated that they also made an additional purchase at the store. (Source: UPS)
Social Media advertising, retail mobile apps and beacon technology grew in numbers in 2016, as marketers utilized these advancements to engage consumers on their path-to-purchase.
The primary driver of retail transactions in 2016 was social media, with 78% of consumers saying their purchase decision was influenced by social media (Source: PWC)
Total time spent in click-and-bricks retail apps increased by nearly 40% over the past 12 months. (Source: MediAvataar.com)
Mobile represents 44% of a retailer's’ online traffic, and 31% of sales. (Source: Search Engine Watch)
The value of in-store retail sales influenced by beacon-triggered messages in the United States in 2015 was $4.1 billion. In 2016, an extraordinary $40 billion increase was estimated. Statista suggested that beacon messages will trigger retail sales worth $44.4 billion in the US. (Source: Search Engine Watch)
With these 2016 developments, brands, retailers, agencies, ad-tech and mall operators are continuing to invest in data-driven mobile proximity marketing capabilities to drive consumers into physical brick-and-mortars. Furthermore, positive shopping experiences that integrate smartphones to enable "clicks to bricks" engagements with consumers not only have proven to increase revenue opportunities, but build a stronger brand loyalty.